Ask Barb: Setting Realistic Productivity Expectations

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Dec 14, 2011

Dear Barb:

I’m expected to make at least 50 calls a day, conduct interviews, check references, write out my recruiting lists, answer emails, answer incoming calls, and do research.  I think it’s impossible to make 50 calls and get everything else done that I’m expected to do.  The owner of my company doesn’t produce which is why I think he’s lost track of what is realistic.  Do you think it’s possible to make 50 calls every day plus do everything else I listed?

Frank H.  New York, NY

Dear Frank:

I don’t require a specific number of calls each day, but I do require each member of my sales team to hit their minimum results each day. We track numbers and ratios so each recruiter knows what they have to do to consistently hit goals set. If someone needs to conduct three interviews each day, they need to set up four or five in case of no-shows. They have to make as many recruiting presentations as it takes in order to book those interviews.

We only answer email in the early AM, noon, and late in the day. We also only touch each email once and either take action, file it, or delete it. We hold incoming calls before noon, unless someone tells us to interrupt us, which is the voicemail we leave when making marketing and recruiting presentations.

I found it interesting that you didn’t mention presenting opportunities to candidates or presenting candidates to clients. Your job is to get candidates in front of hiring authorities. Booking send-outs is your primary responsibility. We write down the six things closest to the money every evening before we leave work. Often planning, research, matching, and compiling lists are done during evening hours. We attempt to talk to twenty new people each day through recruiting calls, marketing calls, reference checks, and call-ins.  If you segment your day, manage your email, and hold incoming calls if possible until noon, you will be able to complete your calls.

Review your stats and ratios and figure out what results you need daily to become a consistent producer.  Then you make as many phone calls as are necessary to achieve those daily results – which in some cases might be even more than 50 calls!

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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